What is NEAR?
It’s a community-operated Cloud, providing a platform for building open source and open state applications.
It’s a decentralized application platform running on its own blockchain, that solves usability and scaling via sharding.
What is the difference between Near Inc and the NEAR Protocol?
Generally, we differentiate between three entities: The NEAR Protocol, the Near Foundation and Near Inc.
The NEAR Protocol
A permissionless, Proof-of-Stake blockchain protocol that anyone can access, add transactions to, or read from. The public NEAR blockchain is an instantiation of the reference code at http://github.com/nearprotocol/nearcore, but theoretically, this repo could be forked and deployed as a separate chain, as much as many protocols have done to build upon the core Bitcoin code.
The NEAR Foundation
A non-profit foundation headquartered in Switzerland, and is responsible for contracting protocol maintainers, funding ecosystem development, and shepherding core governance of the protocol.
A US-based software research and development company that did much of the early development of the protocol and its tooling. While Near Inc does not own or run the NEAR Protocol (which is decentralized), it continues to propose changes to the reference implementation codebase as one of multiple third-party entities performing R&D work for the protocol.
Who is building the NEAR Protocol?
Much of the early development of the protocol and its tooling has been done by Near Inc.
Where can I learn more about NEAR?
It really depends on what you want to learn more about.
If you want to learn more about the NEAR protocol design, we recommend Our YouTube channel https://youtube.com/nearprotocol Our blog http://near.org/blog And our technical papers https://near.org/technology/#papers
I am lost, where do I start?
What is the official Near email?
Official email firstname.lastname@example.org. However, for proposals and suggestions, please create a post in our forum.
Where can I sign up to the newsletter?
You want to receive updates on the latest and greatest in the NEAR ecosystem, then head over to https://near.org/newsletter/
Contributing to NEAR
How can I get involved?
It depends on what you are excited about doing. Do you want to develop on Near? Build tutorials? Answer questions? Expand our documentation? We recommend you have a look at our Contributor Program. If you are looking for something a little different, or you have questions, please reach out to the team on Telegram or Discord.
Does Near have a bug bounty program available?
While we currently do not have a bug bounty program, you can contribute to our development of resources through our Contributor Program. Additionally, we have hosted several hackathons; for future events sign-up to our newsletter https://near.org/newsletter/
Are articles (not NEAR-specific) allowed to be shared on Discord or Telegram?
Where can I provide input?
Most of our discussions and change or improvement proposals are shared and discussed on our Forum https://commonwealth.im/near/.
What are the basic denominations of NEAR?
We use “NEAR” as a basic denomination. The plural is “NEAR”. 1 NEAR has 1e24 yotco-NEAR. Or 1000 milliNEAR, 1M microNEAR. Total supply of NEAR at launch is 1 billion.
Is there an EIO, ICO or any other form of token sale?
Currently, there is no public investment opportunity. NEAR does not have any public plans for a token offering at this stage. We will let you know if and when that changes.
Are we going to have airdrops?
We are working with partners across the ecosystem to make sure tokens get in the hands of the right people to make the network successful. When those programs go live, you will be notified through our public channels.
Where can I learn more about your token economics?
Please head over to our economics paper https://near.org/papers/economics-in-sharded-blockchain/
What products are currently available on NEAR?
Products include the NEAR-wallet, NEAR-shell, block explorer, and the actual blockchain (available on TestNet). To learn more, please head over to our documentation.
We are going to release a public roadmap at the beginning of April. Please join our community channels and sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest information.
Why doesn’t NEAR just do a side chain of Ethereum?
It doesn’t make sense from a technology perspective or a usability perspective. Consider the case of Scale labs which is doing a sharded POS sidechain and that solves exactly the problem (scale) that no one actually has.
We have a very different account model, consensus model and state transition. These all are vast improvements over Ethereum and wouldn’t play nice as a side chain.
Why doesn’t NEAR just work with the Ethereum Foundation on Ethereum?
Ethereum has done fantastic things to introduce the world to a virtual machine run atop a blockchain. We get asked a lot why we don’t just join forces with Ethereum (there was even a rumour going around for a while that it might happen). Both organizations are producing decentralized platforms that accomplish essentially the same goals. Fundamentally, though we believe that we can both:
- Build better tech
- Ship it faster
Regarding the former, we have a scaling (sharding) solution that matches or exceeds the existing Ethereum specs but, more importantly, we have reimagined everything from the contract level through the transaction fees and economics to focus on providing both developers and their end-users with an incredibly good experience. This focus on usability is uniquely in our DNA and it is not part of the Ethereum 2.0 spec.
Regarding the latter, our team is the best in the world and we have deep experience both launching businesses and engineering sharded systems at scale. The last several decades have shown via a Darwinian process what approaches work and which ones do not when building effective and future-proof developer platforms. While the Ethereum organization brought revolutionary technology to market, their approach to ongoing iteration suffers from significant inefficiencies that our processes cut out. We expect to get to market with the NEAR platform well ahead of what Ethereum could do, particularly given the baggage of the existing Ethereum design and state.
So, basically, we can give the world better technology faster by operating independently.
What is the difference between Polkadot and NEAR protocol?
The main difference is that in Polkadot every application needs to have it's own blockchain (which is pretty hard to launch) and there are only 32 slots (up to 100 later). Whereas in NEAR it's straightforward to launch an app (you can try it on testnet now - https://near.dev/) and there is no limit on how many apps. Additionally, there a bunch of consensus, security, staking, economics, smart contracting differences on top of it but won't fit here. The other major difference is our focus on user and developer experience - we really trying to make it easy for non-crypto ppl to build stuff. We measure ourselves based on how easy it is to start using apps on NEAR by folks who never owned crypto for example.